Pac-12 power rankingsIn the final power rankings, UW is clearly best team in conference
Published 3/1/2012Comments (0)
In my final power rankings of the year, there is a new top dog. After a collapse in Los Angeles, Washington is looking at their second conference title in four years while having won the conference tournament the past two.
- Washington — The Huskies should put an asterisk on their soon to be championship banner after being handed the conference on a silver platter Saturday night when beating Washington State 59-55. The Huskies rank 11th in the conference in free-throw shooting at 62 percent but went five of six in the final four minutes to seal the deal against the Cougars.
- California — The Bears had it made for the home stretch but inexplicably lost 70-57 to Colorado on Sunday and are now a half-game back of Washington. The 13-point loss was their worst of the conference season and their 57-point output was tied for second worst of their season. Didn’t I say something last week about offensive efficiency? I must’ve jinxed them.
- Arizona — Kyle Fogg won his second player of the week award in the past four weeks as the Wildcats swept their final home games against the LA schools. Arizona continues to be stingy while defending the three-point shot as they’ve never allowed a team all year to hit double-digit threes in a single game. The only other team in the conference to do that is USC but the Wildcats have had more than 100 more three-point shots against them than the Trojans.
- Oregon — After a narrow 74-73 victory in Corvallis against Oregon State, the Ducks still mathematically have a shot at a share of the title, but a lot of things need to fall into place for that to happen. Should Oregon miss out on the national tournament, they only have themselves to blame with their last three losses being by three, one and five points.
- Colorado — The Buffaloes were blown off the court against Stanford 74-50 last Thursday but responded nicely with a surprising win against California. Like Oregon, who they happen to be playing Thursday night, Colorado currently rests in the next four out category of bracketology so they can’t afford to lose any more games the rest of the season.
- UCLA — Beat the bad teams and lose to the good ones after a win against Arizona State but then suffering a loss to Arizona last weekend. After being featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated in the preseason, this season can be forgotten for the Bruins. At least they played close games as all their games in the month of February were decided by 10 points or fewer.
- Washington State — Oh what could’ve been. I’m not sure a victory over the Huskies would’ve warranted a rushing of the court like last year when the Cougs won in Pullman but man oh man. Looking ahead, WSU will most likely play in the eight-nine game of the conference tournament. The winner of that plays the one seed, who in my opinion, will be the Huskies, so revenge is there for the taking if the Cougs want it.
- Oregon State — Beavers lose by one at home to Oregon which will deny them of that 18-win plateau I referenced last week. While it’s impossible for them to finish any higher than eighth in the conference, they present many problems for any team on any given night. They have Jared Cunningham as the top scorer on the league’s best scoring team in addition to having two of the top five shot-blockers while collectively leading the league in steals.
- Stanford — Just when you think Stanford shows signs of life beating Colorado 74-50, they lay an egg and lose to Utah 58-57. Based on where they first started in my power rankings at number two, this team has had the biggest drop off. If they finish in the bottom half of the conference, it’ll be the fourth straight time they’ve done so after being a dominant team during the late'90s and early 2000s.
- Arizona State — Congratulations Sun Devils, you beat USC for a second time, have a cookie. During head coach Herb Sendek’s five-year tenure, he’s signed 24 players but eight of those have transferred away. Who will be the next to go?
- Utah — How the Utes beat Stanford is beyond me, but they’re a scrappy bunch. In more than half of their conference games they’ve been ahead or within five points. I don’t know what happens in the locker room, but it’s not working.
- USC — Continues to be terrible after being swept in Arizona. Just six wins on the season and if they fail to beat either school from Washington this weekend, it’ll be the second time since 1926 they will have won no more than six games in a season. Ouch.